My 22nd Century Family Road Trip to the World’s Largest Marilyn Monroe-bot

by Tom Kelly

was traffic jams, rest stops, diner eggs splashed with Tabasco sauce, was hitchhikers’ thumbs & deer skulls & Mom playing I Spy a cactus, was heat lightning, ostrich farms, donuts stolen by prairie dogs, drive-ins & billboards & dicks drawn on road maps & bikers fucking in a cop car, Dad determined like a pilot who believes in God & flight, was sunrise, was sunny farts, a sea of sunflowers losing its charm, a pin-up that dwarfs dinosaurs combing the doves from her  curls,  her  big  toe  wide  as  a  wishing  well  surrounded  by  bald  men  groveling,  was  an escalator  lift  up  her  pageant  chair,  the  buck-a-minute  tour  of  her  birthmarks,  Dad  asking about the clockwork underneath her billowing skirt, was a hot air balloon ride around her jawline  &  a  picnic  lunch  in  her  lap  &  a  grandma  who  climbed  the  cleavage  to  search  for  a missing husband, was pilgrimage, was sideshow & golden vistas that rolled forever & four generations  of  women  falling  into  the  crease  of  her  thigh,  was  her  laugh,  like  thunder,  & thunder  mistaken  for  her  laugh  &  posing  for  a  last  family  photo,  her  giant  candy-striped parasol opening to shield us all from the rain.

Tom Kelly is a Creative Writing doctoral student at Florida State University. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Passages North, LIT, Barrelhouse, Hobart, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @tomvkelly

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